By Chuck Reherman
On an experienced and talented team, there is usually one player that emerges as the heart and soul of a club.
For Southwest Covenant, that player is senior Macie Noland.
Noland has been a key figure for the team since stepping on the court her freshman year. And, she highlighted her career in the second set of the class 4A Region 4 tournament by recording her 1,000th kill of her career.
Well, actually, she has recorded more than 1,000, but stats were no kept during her freshman season. So, the 1,000 kills have come in the last three years.
She has helped lead the Lady Patriots to four straight state tournament appearances (two in class 3A and the last two, including this year in 4A). She had 12 kills in a three-set win over Wagoner on Thursday night that qualified the Lady Patriots, who were ranked No. 4 going into the regionals, to the state tournament.
Noland’s 12 kills in the finals gave her 354 for the season. She had 360 her junior year and 286 her junior year. SWCS head coach Samantha Lindsey said Noland had more than 100 kills her freshman season, but since no stats were kept for that season, her 1,000 were only counted for three seasons.
Noland was more excited about talking about her team and the win than her personal achievement.
“It was so crazy to get my 1000th kill and win a regional title on the same night,” Noland said. “I was like super excited, I knew we could do it (win regionals), but it is just like executing, that is the hard part. I thought we all did really good and this is our first game where we showed we were the dominant team. We didn’t have any slumps and played really good.
“I don’t think we were nervous. All year long we have had a problem of finishing games, but recently we have gotten a lot better where we are finishing games so I knew we could finish this one.
“I am really excited and super happy that I got the 1,000 kills. I know we can win state but we have to play hard and play our best to be able to do it.”
Noland’s 1000th kill came in the second set and brought the Lady Patriots within one point of winning the set. It was her fifth kill of the set and went on to record five more the remainder of the match. The senior, who has to be considered as the all time single sport best female athlete at the school, accepted a role change this season, playing more from the back row and has been the biggest hitters for the Lady Patriots in their volleyball history.
“We were pretty confident going into the regionals,” she said. “We watched films from other games and knew what their weaknesses were from the other games.
“That was real exciting seeing her get her 1,000th kill,” Lindsey said. “We did not keep stats her freshman year and I know she had over 100 her freshman year, but we have no proof. So, but it is still exciting to see her get over 1,000 in just three years. She has over 300 this year and had 360 her junior year.”